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The SEND code of practice

What is the SEN Code of Practice?

In 2014 there was a new government act introduced called The Children and Families Act 2014 – (click this link; The Children's and Families Act - (opens new page).  This included something called the Special Educational needs and disability Code of Practice 0-25. This is shortened to the SEND Code of Practice.  

This Code of Practice gives statutory guidance for Local Authorities, educational settings and anyone else involved in providing services to children or young people with special educational needs or disabilities when working with children and young people (up to age 25). 

The SEND Code of practice provides a lot of guidance, advice as well as explaining legal duties for local authorities, education providers as well as health and social care. It is focused on providing good outcomes* for children and young people with special educational needs.

*Good outcomes mean that children and young people with additional needs should have the best possible outcome from when they are in education and allow them to have as successful adult life as possible.

The SEND Code of practice is “Person Centred”, this means that it aims to keep the children’s or young persons goals at the centre of all it does. This means that everyone who follows the code of practice needs to make sure that the child or young person is treated as an individual and has their own dreams and goals (aspirations) at the centre of any support or help that is offered.

Local authorities, education settings and other professionals need to make sure that children and young people are involved in all planning and decisions they make. They also need to make sure they help children and young people to express their views.

The SEND Code of Practice also explains how Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP's) work, more information about can be found on the Local Offer EHCP page (opens new page)

The SEND Code of practice also provides guidance on what happens when children or young people leave education and become an adult.

It also provides guidance on other services available to children and young people with SEND such as services from social care and health.

NASEN (National Association of Special Educational Needs) have produced a quick guide to the SEND Code of Practice, it can be downloaded by clicking this link (Opens PDF in new page)

There is more in depth guide for parents and carers produced by the government called the SEND Code of Practice - Guide for parents (opens new page)

Last updated: 29/09/2020

Useful links

SEND Code of Practice (Government information)

SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years